Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
'I wish I'd hadn't worked so hard' and other great regrets of the dying... as revealed by former nursing home carer
- Bronnie Ware has written a book about her experiences looking after the terminally ill
By GRAHAM SMITH
Last updated at 2:39 PM on 30th January 2012
It is something none of us wants to contemplate - lying on our death bed worrying about the things we should have done.
Now a former nurse who cared for the terminally ill has revealed the five most common regrets of the dying.
Bronnie Ware spent several years working in palliative care in Australia, looking after patients in the last three to 12 weeks of their lives.
During that time, she became accustomed to hearing the elderly reveal their biggest regrets.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the simple things in life, like staying in touch with friends and being true to yourself, that most people wished they had been able to achieve.
Ms Ware found that men regretted working too hard, while many people wish they had had the courage to more frequently express their feelings.
Inspired by what she discovered, Ms Ware has written a book -The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying: A Life Transformed By The Dearly Departing - about her experiences.
She said: 'My patients were those who had gone home to die and some incredibly special times were shared.
'People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality and some changes were phenomenal.
'Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected - denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance.
'Every single patient found their peace before they departed though.
'When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again.'
Ms Ware recorded the most frequent five regrets in the elderly as:
- I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
'This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.'
- I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
'This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.'
- I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
'Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.'
'Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.'
'This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives.Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
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Monday, February 13, 2012
"Recent declines in housing wealth may be reducing consumer spending between $200 billion and $375 billion per year. That reduction corresponds to lower living standards for many Americans," Bernanke said. The Fed chairman said there's no "silver bullet" to rescue the housing market. Renting out foreclosed homes and reducing or modifying mortgages are among steps that could help. "Low or negative equity creates additional problems for households," Bernanke said. "It reduces financial flexibility: Homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages cannot tap home equity to pay for emergency health expenses or their children's college educations. There have been modest signs of improvement in recent months. Sales of previously occupied homes rose in the last three months. Homebuilders are more optimistic after seeing more people express interest in buying this year. And home construction picked up in the final quarter of last year, which helped housing contribute to broader economic growth. Still, last year was the weakest for new-home sales on records dating back to 1963. Sales of previously occupied homes have also been at depressed levels. And home prices continue to fall. Low Interest Rates Add Little Lift The Fed issued a white paper last month that included a number of proposals to boost home sales. The paper sparked some criticism. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) told Bernanke last week during a congressional appearance that he was taken aback that the Fed would offer unsolicited advice to Congress, putting forward proposals which Garrett said mirrored in many ways ideas being pushed by the Obama administration. Bernanke said the Fed only wanted to provide pros and cons on various approaches, and he said Fed officials remained concerned because the weak housing sector was holding back overall growth. The central bank has tried to help by keeping its benchmark interest rate at a record low near zero. And the Fed recently signaled that it doesn't plan to raise the rate before late 2014. The Fed's decision to hold rates down, along with two major rounds of bond purchases, has led to lower mortgage rates. Lower mortgage rates typically encourage more buying and refinancing. Still, damage from the housing crisis has been so widespread that even the cheapest mortgage rates in history haven't been enough to lift home sales. And many banks have restricted lending to only those with the best credit. After the Fed's meeting in January, Bernanke said the Fed has not ruled out a third round of bond purchases. Bernanke told the builders' group Friday that the Fed has been working to loosen tight lending standards. "I do think that conditions are still too tight for the health of the financial system, the construction industry and our economy," Bernanke said. "As regulators, we have been very clear to the banks ... that we want them to take a balanced approach. We want them to make prudent loans and we don't want them to turn away creditworthy borrowers." Asked about unanticipated shocks that could set back economic growth, Bernanke cited the European debt crisis and continued budget uncertainties in Washington. "We will be paying close attention to what is happening and hoping that our economy is developing enough steam so that it will be able to continue to recover even if there are some bumps along the road," Bernanke said. Bernanke's speech came a day after the government announced it had reached a landmark $25 billion deal with the nation's biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses that had occurred after the nation's housing bubble burst in the middle of the last decade. That deal will require five of the largest banks to reduce loans for about 1 million households at risk of foreclosure. The lenders will also send checks of $2,000 to about 750,000 American who were improperly foreclosed on. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
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Friday, February 10, 2012
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